Firefighters in Washoe County are still battling a fast-moving brush fire near Reno, Nevada. The fire of unknown origin began on Thursday afternoon and was 50 percent contained as of 4 a.m. Friday. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Nancy Leuenhagen, community relations manager for Washoe County, said there has been one confirmed death in the area, but that it is uncertain at this time if the death was caused by the fire. She said the medical examiner's office will be conducting an autopsy on Friday to determine the cause of death.
Some 3,866 acres have been burned and more than 20 structures were engulfed in flames since the fire started on Thursday, Leuenhagen said. More than 10,000 people were evacuated and some 2,000 remained in such condition.
A storm system that is approaching the area later Friday afternoon, could either help or hinder the work of firefighters.
We are anticipating high winds picking up today, Leuenhagen said, adding that flash floods are also expected.
A press release from Washoe County noted that wind could be an enemy because gusts of up to 55 mph are expected early Friday afternoon. The weather could become a friend, but possibly later Friday night, providing some relief.
Some three-quarters of an inch of rainfall could be dumped in the valleys of western Nevada, meteorologist Mark Faucette said in a press release.
We don't expect much of a chance of rain today during the day, at least down on the fire, Faucette said. By tomorrow morning, we could have snow down on the valley floor, a tiny little bit, like an inch.
He added that humidity will climb to about 35 percent or 40 percent, this after dropping around 10 percent on Thursday.
There are currently 150 law enforcement officials and 150 firefighters battling the Washoe fire. They will be joined by an additional 400 firefighters on Friday, Leuenhangen said.